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Neuropsychology. 2010 Jan;24(1):90-100. doi: 10.1037/a0016804.

Difference rather than delay in development of elementary visuomotor processes in children born preterm without cerebral palsy: a quasi-longitudinal study.

Author information

  • 1University of Groningen and Beatrix Children's Hospital, University Medical Center of Groningen, The Netherlands.

Erratum in

  • Neuropsychology. 2010 Mar;24(2):147. van Dujin, Maritje A J [corrected to van Duijn, Marijtje A J]; Bourma, Anke [corrected to Bouma, Anke].


Follow-up studies of preterm children without serious neonatal medical complications have consistently found poor visuomotor and visuospatial skills. In the first round of current follow-up study, we found a deficit in elementary visuomotor processes in preterm children without Cerebral Palsy (CP). To determine whether the development of these processes was delayed or different, we carried out a quasi-longitudinal study in which kinematic characteristics of pointing movements in 7- to 11-year-old preterm born children without CP and in an age-matched full-term group were analyzed. Multi-level analysis suggested a difference rather than a delay in the preterm born group: we found a regression around 8 years of age in the control but not in the preterm group. To our knowledge, this study is the first to provide longitudinal data confirming this regression in the development of movement control in typically developing children. Our results are also consistent in suggesting that elementary visuomotor processes are less efficient in preterm born children without CP: their movements were either slower or less accurate. While these differences were subtle, they persisted until 11 years of age.

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